Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"Return of the language from hell"

I'm back and taking French class at DVC, a Jr college in Concord CA.
So it's me and Seb my French speaking son trying to figure stuff out together.
I have enough vocabulary to sometimes fill in the gaps with Sebs English.
So I'm going to French class last night and am fixing dinner, I ask Seb if he wants "3" "trois" poisson.
Well he tells me no it's "tRois" I can't hear this, I pronounce it like "toi" or you. I miss the "r" thing and how that works. When people say "toi" or "trois" it sounds the same to me, and I have never been corrected before.

People get a little sloppy with language and I think most of the French don't pronounce well anymore than we do English. "Oui" for instance is pronounced by the kids in Belgium "WAY" rather than the known "WE". I understand this is a Paris thing also.

Now I have a French speaking teacher that also speaks English, this is making my understanding of what I am learning come a little quicker. My Dutch speaking teacher with little English was great but this is a easier for me.

I am really listening to the words and trying to figure this out last night. Something else hit me.
When you are trying to learn the gender of nouns you have to learn the proper article which written is easy to see. It's a little more difficult to hear. For instance "la chaise" the chair, is feminine. But when people are talking they will use the plural or"les chaises" the chairs. OK so the S's are silent and this is pronounced "le chaise" which would be masculine, now "les" and "le" are not pronounced the same but it sounds more like "le" then "la" and I get confused.

What else did I learn, well "neuf" is not only nine but NEW, so there is this town near the airbase in Belgium call "Neufmaison" it was kinda a small town, I always thought it meant 9 houses. So maybe it's like NEWHOUSE Minnesota.

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